Things are getting weird in Germany as the election campaign reaches the final hours, and we like it.
On Sunday Germans will head to the polls to elect a new government – one that won’t include the CDU’s Angela Merkel.
Yet the the German chancellor is clearly still the star of the show. Just look at these pictures of her hanging out with a bunch of birds and you’ll see what we mean.
Merkel, 67, was visiting Marlow Birdpark which lies in her constituency in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. She’s been representing the area since 1990, while she’s been chancellor for 16 years.
“I wanted to say ‘arrivederci’ again,” Merkel told a flower seller at the weekly market in Greifswald during her visit to the region on Thursday.
Merkel visited a bird zoo today and the photos are everything. This isn't photoshop, it actually happened pic.twitter.com/f4IHRIzXwt
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) September 24, 2021
In Greifswald, she walked through the pedestrian zone with the new candidate for the CDU direct mandate, Georg Günther, and the CDU’s top candidate for the state election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Michael Sack.
Merkel was surrounded by surprised passers-by who asked her for selfies. She then visited Bad Sülze and then onto Marlow. Merkel has also been on a farewell tour of Rügen this week.
“It has always been an honour for me to stand for this constituency,” Merkel said on the sidelines of the visit to the bird park. It was the third time she had visited the park since 2012. Flocks of brightly coloured parrots fluttered around her, eating from her hand. One of them even landed on her head.
Alongside the the federal election, the state election will be held in Meck-Pom on Sunday. According to the ZDF Politbarometer published on Thursday, the SPD are in the lead with 39 percent a few days before the election. The previous coalition partner CDU managed 14 percent of the vote in the poll, and the AfD 16 percent. The Left gathered 11 percent, while the Greens received 7 and the FDP 5.5 percent of the vote.
— Thorsten Benner (@thorstenbenner) September 24, 2021
Not to be outdone by the chancellor, fellow conservative Friedrich Merz – a longtime rival of Merkel who has tried and failed to get the CDU leadership job twice – released a wacky election video featuring footage of himself when he first stood in the Hochsauerland district in 1994. Yes, that is a fox peering out from behind a tree trunk saying: “Sleep well, Friedrich, and turn off the light” – in Helmut Kohl’s voice.
“From analog 1994 to digital 2021: take a look what my team and I put online today at the end of the election campaign in the Hochsauerland district,” said Merz when posting the video.
Friedrich Merz, one of Germany's most influential conservatives, just released a new election ad that begins with a clip from his first campaign in 1994 before pivoting to 2021. I'm not sure how I'd even describe the content so take a look. It's somethingpic.twitter.com/0ai5Ms0VEP
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) September 23, 2021
The conservatives are really pulling out all the stops. Will it nudge them ahead in the race?
Perhaps. The latest polls show the SPD at 26 percent, and the CDU/CSU with 22 percent. It’s very close.
BUNDESTAGSWAHL | Sonntagsfrage Ipsos
SPD: 26% (-1)
Union: 22% (+1)
GRÜNE: 16% (-2)
FDP: 12% (+2)
Änderungen zur letzten Umfrage vom 17. September 2021
— Deutschland Wählt (@Wahlen_DE) September 24, 2021